Think-tanks differ over economic performance


Some Zambian think-tanks yesterday differed over the country’s economic outlook this year with one group painting a gloomy picture while another said the prospects were on the right track.

Centre for Trade Policy and Development (CTPD) executive director Isabel Mukelabai said Zambia’s growth prospect for 2016 was projected to be around 3.5 percent owing to the internal and external shocks the country has been experiencing.

But Dr. Oswald Mungule who is principal policy analyst at the National Economic Advisory Council said the country’s economic prospects were on the right track with the growth projected at 5.5 percent.

The two officials were speaking at the CTPD media breakfast meeting in Lusaka to outline Zambia’s economic outlook for 2016 and identification of key challenges.

Ms. Mukelabai said there was need to put in place a clear economic recovery plan to counter the challenges the country was facing.

She attributed the contraction of the economy to the power deficits and high interest rates which she said were affecting production in various sectors of the economy.

Ms Mukelabai observed that the continued power deficits the country was facing would negatively affect investor confidence.

But Dr Mungule said the country’s economic prospects were on the right track with the growth projected at 5.5 percent.

Dr. Mungule described as perception reports that the Zambian economy was expected to continue shrinking in 2016 with the growth expected at 3.5 percent.

“Government is trying to reduce this energy crisis, it is also reducing expenditure which is affecting the production sector. We can see some stability in the economy. The projection in terms of 2016 economic outlook is very fine, I want to assure Zambians that economic outlook for 2016 is very stable, so we are not going down but of course we are not growing at the rate we were growing around 2008,” he said.

Dr. Mungule said Zambia was just experiencing some economic circle which is normal world over.

He said the economy growth projection would be around five percent to 5.5 percent in the year 2016.

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